Good Anime to Start With…

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Recently I was asked, “What are some good anime to start with, if you’re just getting into the genre?” Well, I was scrounging around the back alleys of the web, digging up some classic anime series to watch, and these are a few that I came up with. These are some of the best that you’ll find. I’m sure that some will disagree; perhaps I’m not esoteric enough in my choices or maybe we just have different tastes, but this is a good set to get started with at least.

One of the raddest anime ever is FLCL (Fooly Cooly). This anime is about Naota, a typical school kid who lives with his father and grandfather. He lives a tranquil life until Haruko, a bass-guitar wielding, Vespa-scooter riding alien girl blasts into his world and begins conjuring alien robots from within his head. Some of the most incredibly stylized animation is mixed with a story that truly grasps what it’s like to go through the angst of adolescence. A somewhat bizarre storyline touches on sci-fi, romance, drama, and a bit of tragedy, all stuffed with an amazing punk soundtrack by The Pillows. Plus, this anime is really funny!

An anime classic is Cowboy Bebop, a tale of disconnected bounty-hunters killing time in space. This show is so cool that it defies traditional description. Laid across a hard-bop jazz soundtrack, Cowboy Bebop follows Spike, an aikido fluent gunslinger with a shadowed past, Jet, a former cop who’s turned his back on his law-abiding ways, Faye, a beautiful amnesiac with a gambling problem and Ed, an eccentric (in a cool way) hacker girl. The crew of the Bebop is rounded out by Ein, a Welsh Corgi with some sort of weird tech embedded in him. This is definitely one of the all time greats.

Bamboo Blade is a slightly lesser known anime (at least here in the states), but its definitely worth checking out. This show has such a great storyline because it combines our love of sword combat with the reality of Japanese traditional training. The story is about a all-girl high school kendo club and their luckless coach as they train their way to a competition. The show focuses on the young sword prodigy Tamaki Kawazoe, an amazingly gifted swordswoman who seems almost super-human with the shinai. Check this show out, Tamaki rocks.

I have to recommend Hellsing ’cause I have a thing for Seras Victoria. This anime is about vampires, so if you don’t like vampires, it may not be for you. It takes place in England, where the Hellsing Organization engages in covert operations against the supernatural creatures of the night.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is frickin’ insane. Trust me. This is one of my favorite anime. For those of you who follow mecha anime, you already know about the Gundam series, but if you only watch one show with big battle suits, make it this one. The newest addition to a very long running animated story, this series is the best of the genre.(Update: There is a even newer Gundam series out, called Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. The anime began just a few weeks ago, in March 2010. The first episode is outstanding.)

Well, that about wraps up my short list of cool anime. If you’re interested in slightly more underground anime, go to Anime Season, they have good stuff that’s a little more off the beaten path. I’ll be posting more reviews of newer anime, and manga too, so stay tuned.

Posted by Jon   @   2 April 2010 0 comments
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